Monday, April 6, 2009

Challenge to Readers - I

Help find the answer to the following question:

Did Sarah and Todd Palin break the truancy laws of Alaska when they removed their children from the classroom during the Presidential campaign in the Fall of 2008?

I have long thought that laws were broken when Sarah and Todd Palin took their children out of the classroom to travel across the country during the election. It's one thing to take your kids out of school for a week to travel to Disney World or visit distant Grandparents, but taking your kids out of school for half a school year is illegal in most states.

I do know that it was tough on Piper Palin from the Matt Lauer interview. My search for the truancy laws of Alaska was extremely difficult. I'm not so sure that Alaska is close to fully connecting to today's cyber world. I did find a reference to a bill from 2006 that would restrict payment of the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) that Alaskans receive each year as their portion of oil revenues, for any parent that allowed their child to be truant. I had trouble finding out whether this bill actually passed. If the PFD payment was eliminated for parents of truant children, did Sarah and Todd Palin collect their PFD? Was it against Alaska law for the Palin's to receive a PFD?

Bottom line here; the Palin's were very poor parents for removing their children from school for such an extended period of time. I have no problem with short periods to attend the Convention or other significant events, but their kids were out of school for a period that would be considered illegal in most states. Don't tell me that Sarah Palin was home schooling her children like I read on one conservative blog. Anyone that believes that is an idiot.

So help me out; please! If you can shed some light on this, the readers to this blog will be grateful.



  1. This is all I could find: Section 14:30.030 Prevention of Truancy. "The governing body of a school district, including a regional education attendance area, shall establish procedures to prevent and reduce truancy". Whatever the hell that means! Seems like a backwards state to me.

  2. Doing a quick search, I found something from the Alaska State Legislature in 2006 that says that State Law requires state attendance at school but that there is practically no consequences for truancy. There is a lot of "local control"--left to the school districts for record keeping and control...

  3. It appears that the Palin's are off the hook legally, but not morally. Those kids belonged in school. The reason I have so much trouble with this is in Rhode Island, there is actually a truancy court. The fine for a parent if $50 per day for the first 30 days of truancy. After 30 days, the parent can go to prison for up to 6 months. Under Rhode Island law, the Palins would be in deep trouble. If you want to take a look at what truancy laws should look like; here's the link: . It is still hard to believe that Alaska is so backwards.

  4. By the way: The bill that would have prevented parents from receiving the Alaska PFD; evidently never passed as far as I can tell. Too bad, at least there would some consequence for allowing children to be truant. The law in Alaska does require attendance for ages 6 to 16, so you could say the Palin's broke that law. There are no consequences though.